Wall St set to open higher on optimism over economic recovery

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 19, 2020

The utilities and healthcare sectors rose the most among the major S&P sectors.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are set to close the week higher as optimism over an eventual coronavirus vaccine and hopes of a post-pandemic economic recovery helped investors look past a continuous surge in COVID-19 cases.

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) rallied 6.9% after a small-scale study showed its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced high levels of virus-killing antibodies.

The Nasdaq was set to end the week lower as investors sold shares of high-flying companies including Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc and moved into cyclical sectors.

However, the United States has failed to control the coronavirus and there is a high level of uncertainty over how much the pandemic will affect the economy, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said, as a number of USA sunbelt states reported a surge in COVID-19 cases recently.

Adding to investors' enthusiasm, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey showed USA businesses saw an uptick in activity into the beginning of July as states eased restrictions to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, attributed the lackluster consumer data to the rise in Covid-19 cases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2 per cent to 26,671.95.

Asian markets finished mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbing 0.47 percent, China's Shanghai Composite adding 0.12 percent and Japan's Nikkei sliding 0.32 percent.

Goldman Sachs rose 1.4% after it said its trading revenue doubled in the second quarter, driven by big swings in stock and bond markets since March. The broader banking index climbed 2.9%.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 23 cents to $40.52 a barrel while gold gained $8.70 to $1,809 an ounce.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.57-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.82-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Volume on United States exchanges was 9.5 billion shares, compared with the 11.6 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.2 per cent to 3,222.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was down less than 0.1 per cent at 10,470.74.

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